Selsey Lifeboat Station - Launches

20th June 2017

Both Selsey Lifeboats Assist Yacht


UK Coastguard (Dover) paged the Selsey Lifeboat crew at 11.18 p.m. on Tuesday 20th June to search for a 22-foot yacht, 'Merlin', with two persons aboard which had called the Coastguards by mobile phone saying that they had suffered machinery failure and that their sail was jammed. The two persons aboard 'Merlin' were Hungarian and so there was a language barrier.

The crew of the yacht believed their position was somewhere between Bognor and Pagham, close inshore. The 'D' class inshore Lifeboat (ILB) launched at 11.30 p.m. and proceeded to the Pagham area to conduct a search, and at 11.50 p.m. they found the yacht almost in the surf line off of Aldwick. A crewman from the ILB went aboard 'Merlin' and a tow was quickly established between the two of them. The yacht was towed out of danger into clear water. The weather on scene was wind calm, sea state smooth, in clear skies.

'Merlin' was on passage from Rye Harbour to Portsmouth and had no radio, flares or lifejackets. The ILB continued towing the vessel to the south and at 12.06 a.m. requested the all-weather Lifeboat (ALB) to take over the tow to Sparkes Marina in Chichester Harbour. The 'Voluntary Worker' left the moorings at 12.20 a.m. and rendezvoused with the ILB at 12.34 a.m. The ILB dropped the tow and a tow was established between the ALB and 'Merlin' before the ILB exchanged their crewman for one from the ALB. The ILB returned to station at 1.15 a.m. and was rehoused and made ready for service at 1.30 a.m.

The ALB continued towing 'Merlin' to Chichester Harbour arriving at the entrance at 3.00 a.m. 'Merlin' was safely berthed alongside in Sparkes Marina at 3.10 a.m. before the ALB departed at 3.15 a.m. to return to Selsey, arriving at the moorings at 4.00 a.m. and was ready for service at 4.15 a.m.

ILB CREW: James Albery (Helmsman), Craig Sergeant and Dan Langford.

ALB CREW: Willy Pledger (Coxswain), Mike Pledger (Mechanic), Will Moir, Sam Troughton-Smith, Carol Tipping and Pip Skeet.

Merlin Merlin